The University of New Orleans has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the French Embassy in the United States as part of the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative, which is aimed at increasing the number of students from the U.S. studying abroad in France. The grant will be administered through UNO’s Division of International Education and will support additional participation and expanded programming for graduate students in UNO’s “Glories of France” study abroad program.
One of the oldest study abroad programs at UNO, the Glories of France recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Each summer, approximately 30 UNO students and faculty are hosted by Montpellier Sup Agro, a research university in southern France offering graduate-level studies in agriculture, food science and environmental and rural management. Students spend five weeks attending classes in French language, science, history, wine and winemaking and a variety of other subjects. Classes take place four days per week to allow weekend excursions, including a visit to Paris.
Marie Kaposchyn has been director of the Glories of France program since 1992. She will serve as the grant’s chief manager at UNO. According to Kaposchyn, the new funds will provide travel grants for graduate-level students to take courses that will contribute to their degree requirements. While some graduate students have participated previously, the grant allows the program to focus specifically on serving a new population. In addition to graduate-level courses in French, new offerings will include a special literary research tour of Paris designed for graduate students studying romance languages.
“With the help of this grant, our initiative would be a new model in study abroad that adds a group of untapped students to engage in an existing, successful program,” Kaposchyn said.
The Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative was launched in 2014 by the U.S. Department of State and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The initiative is conducted through a partnership among the Embassy of France, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. These organizations issue a call for proposals aimed at increasing and diversifying opportunities for study in France. Grants are awarded competitively to American colleges and universities that are willing and able to leverage institutional commitment to the goals of the initiative.
The University of New Orleans Division of International Education administers programs that allow students to study abroad in France as well as Costa Rica, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Japan. The Division of International Education also operates exchange programs that bring international students to UNO.